Social Media Marketing for Business

April 5, 2015 10:40 am

With an average of 1.39billion active users on Facebook every month in 2014 (which was a 13% increase on the previous year) Facebook dominates the social media platforms. Some online businesses have set up through Facebook alone, many others are making effective use of Facebook’s advertising options and it is a valuable tool for maintaining communication with existing and prospective customers.

LinkedIn in another popular site for work related communication. With groups and forums, it can provide a good source of relevant industry information, discussion and knowledge. As a site where people showcase their personal skills, experience and knowledge, LinkedIn has also played a valuable role in the recruitment of ideal candidates.

Twitter has been used by many businesses to build relevant contacts and followers. In fast paced industries, Twitter provides a great resource for immediately sharing updates, news, reviews and offers. It has also helped to connect people who are attending specific events, promoting debates, engaging individuals in topical polls ad directing people to exhibitor stands.

Instagram and Pinterest have proven worth to industries where image is everything. Interiors, holidays, luxury items, food and fashion are some examples of where an image can speak a thousand words. For companies selling desirable goods or services, these visual platforms are a marketing dream.

Where are your Audience?

Beyond these familiar social media platforms are some that are less well known in the UK, but which have great power and potential in other parts of the globe. If you are trying to connect with an audience in China or Russia for example, then Facebook or Twitter aren’t the best option for success.

In China both Facebook and Twitter have been banned in the past. This gave other platforms the opportunity to evolve and engage with a significant proportion of the population. If you are trying to raise your company’s profile in China, QZone is the social media platform of choice, with 645 million users in 2014. In addition to the usual photo and video sharing posts, QZone also has a diary and blog writing facility, which could be an effective marketing tool.

If you are building contacts in Russia, then VK is the top social media platform. It is so popular that is also the country’s second most visited website. It offers similar options as Facebook and is a well-used communication tool.

Your Social Media Profiles

In many ways, social media can be seen as a form of networking. Having prepared clear objectives and a detailed content plan, Social Media can be a good way to build the profile of your business, engage with your target audience, make valuable connections and generate new leads.

It does require a commitment of time and as with any form of networking the results aren’t usually immediate. Any content should steer clear of an overt sales message and should instead focus on building rapport, trust and common ground. Shared values, shared communities, shared desires all create links which encourages people to turn to you when they need what you have to offer. It also gives them the confidence to recommend you to their other contacts, helping to spread the word.

For further advice on social media as a business marketing tool visit: